Written by Gabrielle Copp
Edited for online by Eliza Buzacott-Speer
Less than half of the applicants given funding by the Federal Government for Indigenous advancement were Indigenous organisations, a new report has revealed.
The report released by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet comes off the back of an inquiry into the government’s allocation of funding.
The Indigenous Advancement Strategy has been in place since May last year.
It aims to boost school attendance and employment, and build safe communities.
But a submission by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the official Senate inquiry into the roll out of Indigenous Advancement funding estimates only 45 per cent of the 1,000 recommended applicants are Indigenous organisations.
Successful non-Indigenous applicants include universities, sports groups, government departments, churches and mainstream employers.
Lecturer in sociology and anthropology at James Cook University Theresa Petray says the Indigenous community needs more attention from the government.
“I think Aboriginal organisations and communities are pretty disillusioned with the Government at the moment,” she said.
“I think that the funding through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy further exacerbates that.”
The first round of applications totalled more than $14 billion, but only $2 billion could be allocated.
The submission also indicates most of the funding will go to eastern New South Wales and greater Western Australia, a region covering the majority of Western Australia including Perth, Kalgoorlie and South Hedland.
North Queensland, one of the areas most in need, was given the least amount of funding.
“Where we forget about the most is regions like north Queensland, where you have people living close to centres like Townsville or Cairns but not in them necessarily,” Ms Petray said.
Ms Petray says community needs vary and all Indigenous communities should be taken into account.